FOLLICULITIS How to Treat them (Causes, Symptoms, Prevention)


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Great skin doesn’t happen by chance, it requires commitment and own hygienic routine that keeps the skincare science going. However, no matter how much we maintain to have our best skin appearance or impression – be it expensive or home care processes – we can’t really avoid the visit of unwanted problems in our skin, Folliculitis as an example.

A lot may have encountered small red bumps with white pus-filled on tip or white-headed pimples around hair follicles — the tiny pockets in your skin or for which each hair grows (mayo clinic; rights reserved) – and you may look at it as acne-like breakouts (look like), but it’s actually one sign of folliculitis in first stage.

What is Folliculitis – exactly?

Folliculitis is a relatively common skin infection wherein one or more follicle – small anatomical cavity from which hair grows – are inflamed. It often appears as a result of fungal or bacterial infection and can be visible anywhere on the skin, except lips, palms and soles of your feet. Folliculitis on legs, arms, buttocks , genitals, thighs, neck, or folliculitis armpit et al. are common affects.

Folliculitis Causes

Staphylococcus (Staph), a kind of bacteria, is an often reason for this skin problem. We normally acquire a staph and it’s not really a problem, until it gets through your layering skin (going inside the body through cuts or injury opening). It may also be due to viruses, yeast or another type of fungus or any causing damage to inflamed hair follicles even ingrown hairs. Also, the normal things we do or wear can irritate the follicles and lead to folliculitis such as follows:

  • Improperly maintained Hot tub or pool.
  • Hair removal such as waxing, plucking, or shaving can cause razor bumps.
  • Medication you take such corticosteroids that are used to ease inflamed follicle or treatment applied directly to the skin such as coal tar.
  • Skin products such as moisturizers with excessive oil can cause blockage and evolve to damages of follicles.
  • Weight gain that that requires you tight clothing or equipment etc.

Folliculitis Symptoms

You may mistakenly overlook folliculitis on chest as a simple rash or tiny red bumps, but this could spread to closer hair follicles and evolve to crusty sores overtime. As the condition may show acute to a chronic case, you need to know the signs or subjected evidence that a follicle is probably be in damage.

Signs and symptoms folliculitis include:

  • Skin swelling and inflammation
  • Burning sensation
  • Group of small red bumps
  • White-headed pimples
  • Pus-filled and crusty sores
  • The areas of the skin are itchy, tender, and painful
  • Mild fever


There are several forms of folliculitis, it can be either superficial or deep. Mild cases are mostly identified as superficial, while deep ones have more severe symptoms as it damage more of the hair follicles.

Superficial forms

  • Bacterial folliculitis. The most common type of folliculitis and is characterized by pus-filled pimples that itch. It’s usually caused by a staph infection as it enters into deeper tissues of the skin through a wound and damage follicles.
  • Barber’s Itch. Also known as Pseudofolliculitis barbae, which is caused by ingrown hairs. It affects more than half percent of black men or american and curly hair people, and somehow also produce an effect in the genital area.
  • Folliculitis Hot Tub. Another name for Pseudomonas folliculitis. Pseudomonas, a type of bacteria that’s found in pools or hot tubs when chlorine levels and pH balance are improperly monitored. Exposing for 72hrs can show signs and symptoms of hot tub folliculitis in the body areas that are covered with a swimsuit or tight clothing.
  • Pityrosporum folliculitis. This is commonly caused by yeast (yellowish surface froth) infection of the skin that shows red and itchy occurring lesions. This folliculitis in face frequently appear also in upper body and are prevalent to adult men and also young adults.

Deep folliculitis

  • Sycosis barbae. A chronic inflammatory disorder of the hair follicles and deeper form of Barber’s Itch that can cause scarring and permanent hair loss especially the bearded part of the face. This deep common face folliculitis may somehow be brought by unclean shave tools and improper hygiene.
  • Boils. Are caused by localized swelling and inflammation of the skin wherein the bacteria that deeply infects the follicle and adjacent tissue creates a central core and form a pus. They grow larger and become very painful until tissue is breached and goes to drain. Carbuncles (cluster of boils) are more severe than just single boils, as it results extreme scarring.
  • Gram-negative folliculitis. This can be one causing-effect to people who has their antibiotic therapy – specially with severe acne. It’s a deep form that is caused by a bacterial imbalance of the skin, though you can clear it all up after the antibiotic treatment finishes.
  • Eosinophilic folliculitis. This type is an intense and often to occur hyperpigmentation (dark patches of skin) that appears in people with badly controlled HIV, late stage of cancer or AIDS. The exact cause is not identified yet, but some researchers believed that hair follicle mite might be the reason of this condition.


Treatment of folliculitis may need a careful process to follow, its cure will vary on type and condition severity. You can do home remedies for mild cases, however, severe or recurring cases may need expert medication or suggesting therapies.

Over-the-counter Medications

Prescribing anti-inflammatory drugs, treatment for bacterial or fungal infections are available in store for you to use.

Professional Treatment

  • Light Theraphy. According to Science Direct, photodynamic therapy, or light therapy helps to improve symptoms of deep folliculitis. As it’s one known treatment for acne, it uses both light and a chemical substance to kill viruses, fungi, and folliculitis bacteria causing for follicle damage.
  • Laser Hair Removal. One preferred alternative for reducing inflamed hair follicle infection and curing causes. It somehow destroys follicle hair that is unwanted and avoid inflammation and bacterial infection.
  • Lancing. It’s a pike or piercing method wherein a doctor may make a thin incision in the lesion with the scalpel to drain a boil or carbuncle and draw off a pus. It promotes faster recovery time and reduce pain causes by folliculitis.

Home Remedies

There are quite a number of home remedies that are very effective at treating folliculitis and its symptoms. These are:

  • Appeasing Bathe. Soaking in a hot tub will help you aid the pain you’re having with folliculitis chest, folliculitis legs or even armpit folliculitis etc. You can add soothing product that has inflammatory properties such as oatmeal to reduce the itch or baking soda to ease the symptoms. Make sure to thoroughly dry the skin after bathing.
  • Maintain Good Hygiene. Wash affected area twice to thrice a day with mild soap that are anti-bacterial or reduce infection. Make sure your hands are clean and cleanse folliculitis in a gentle manner. A cloth that is used for washing folliculitis on face and body are not recommended, only use a clean towel and thoroughly clean the used towels to avoid further transmission.
  • Do Hot Compress. Place a warm compress on the affected area to reduce itchiness and draw out the pus. To do this, soak a cloth in warm water and twist to omit excess and apply to the skin for 15 minutes or until you can feel the warmth. Continue to do this repeatedly as needed.
  • Guard your skin. Ensure to use skin-friendly products and avoid getting exposed to harsh chemicals, tight wearing or any look like. Also, set limitations in shaving and trim, you can use reducing friction lubricants and always keep the blade clean.

Folliculitis in Scalp

It’s an inflammatory disorder of the hair follicles in the scalp. Also known as “acne necrotica miliaris” or “Proprionibacterium”, this folliculitis of scalp brings annoying itch (pustules), red bumps scalp and often troublesome on the frontal line. Folliculitis scalp treatment or folliculitis treatment for scalp will also depend on its condition, you may use over-the-counter product cream, gel or lotion as scalp folliculitis treatment or seek a doctor’s advice for severe case diagnosis.

For mild cases also, folliculitis treatment of the scalp or folliculitis treatment scalp can be washed with a mild shampoo as often as needed. Antidandruff shampoos or conditioner which contains antifungal agents is treatment for folliculitis on scalp also.

According to reviewed article by Dr Amanda Oakley, Dermatologist of Derm Net NZ  (rights reserved), how to get rid of folliculitis comes with varying options, namely: Topical antibiotics, steroid creams, oral antihistamines, etc. Without treatment for folliculitis of the scalp, it may go worst and evolve further to more serious cases.


Most frequent questions and answers

When follicle hair gets damaged, germs can easily get inside follicular area and cause occlusion that infects. There are several risk factors also that makes you unresistant to this condition. A patient that has a current medical health condition such as diabetes, chronic leukemia or HIV has a reduced resistance to infection and can acquire folliculitis in higher chances.

No. Folliculitis isn’t a sexually transmitted inflection (STI). It may be transferred by close skin contact in distance, but not transferred sexually. It may spread by sharing towels, razor bumps or Jacuzzi in use.

Healing depends on severity. Mild folliculitis is usually treated and heal on its own in about 2 weeks. You can do the remedy at home and ease itching or swelling for days until it gets better. However, serious to severe cases might take a while to heal. You need to seek medical advice for you to solve follicle in damage and know how to treat folliculitis fast.


There are many things that can actually damage your hair follicle, and while this is relatively a harmless condition, it still can affect people of all ages; that’s why you should know certain ways to prevent folliculitis. Here’s how:

  • Wear loose clothing. Make sure you’re not wearing tight clothes or such especially if to swim or soak in the hot tub.
  • Learn to scrutinize what products contain harsh chemicals or leads to irritate your skin.
  • Do your own proper shaving techniques and avoid using unclean shaving tools to prevent razor bumps.
  • You can’t avoid to doing your swim in the pool or hot tubs, so there’s likely a huge chance to acquire hot tub folliculitis. Just be careful and ensure to verify that it’s really clean. Though, resort or outdoor pools have their own standard pool cleaning rules
  • Do not spend too much time wearing sweaty clothing or irritating ones.


Although folliculitis is not a life-threatening condition, still some complications that may go severe can arise (You can check its mild to severe form image in any website). From scarring, permanent hair loss, cellulitis, folliculitis face to recurring follicle infections that may spread to other body areas, you need to know how to absolutely avoid it by taking preventive measures at hand and getting an aureus folliculitis treat for it – be it at home or dermatology expert’s basis. Learn what the probable cause and infuse all information of remedy to keep away from getting uncomfortable skin.

Though your skin protects you from harsh elements and automatically do new-growth skin processes, things can still go wrong and follicle damage can surely provide or give you a scream, however, you can have it all controlled as soon as you have the right data treatments to follow.

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